Editor: OB’s former City Councilmember Michael Zucchet just had his acquittal on corruption charges upheld. Zucchet, now executive director of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association, had to resign from the Council in 2005 due to the charges against him. A jury convicted him originally in 2005, but the convictions were thrown out. The original corruption charges against Zucchet – and the three other Council members – were the result of a decision to prosecute by then-US Attorney Carol Lam (herself later fired by Karl Rove from the White House), and which was roundly criticized at the time in some Democratic circles.
by Kelly Thornton / Voice of San Diego / September 1, 2009
The acquittal of former San Diego City Councilman Michael Zucchet on corruption charges, and the conviction of his former colleague, Ralph Inzunza, have been upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling issued today.
But the case is still not over.
The decision by a three-judge appeals panel isn’t going to be official until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case with similar issues.
And, once the decision is final, both Inzunza’s lawyers and the government may request an en banc hearing, in which they ask for a review by the full 9th Circuit. Failing that, both sides may seek Supreme Court review, which is rarely granted.
As for Zucchet, he was acquitted of seven corruption counts and granted a new trial on two counts. There is a chance the government could decide to pursue a new trial on those counts. And that could get complicated because the decision could fall to the yet-to-be selected new San Diego U.S. attorney. One of the frontrunners is one of Zucchet’s attorneys, Jerry Coughlan.
For the remainder of this article, go here.